Seventh Heaven, Who’s Who & What, Me Worry?

I hope you are all enjoying some of the first-round matchups as much as I am. After Detroit, Vancouver and Boston each disposed of their opponents in short order, we were left with a few beauties!

We already know that the two remaining series in the Eastern Conference will require a seventh game…Washington/NYR and Carolina/New Jersey…and depending on the outcome of tonight’s games out west, we could be treated to one or two more.

For a while there it appeared as though the Flyers were going to push Pittsburgh to the brink in that series as well…but they were unable to make a three-goal lead in the second period hold up. I would say “what a collapse of epic proportions”, but that might make it seem I was minimizing the effort put forward by the Penguins.

I love NHL playoff hockey!

Goalie Who’s Who?

Try to do this without looking at the stats sheet…you might find this interesting. I’ll give you the playoff stats of two goalies that are opposing each other in the first round and you try to guess which netminder belongs to which stats line.

Hurricanes vs. Devils

Goalie #1: 1.96 GAA, .942 SV% & 1 shoutout having faced 207 SOG.

Goalie #2: 2.12 GAA, .938 SV% & 1 shoutout having faced 208 SOG.

Now…which one is Cam Ward and which one is Marty Brodeur?

Rangers vs. Capitals

Goalie #1: 1.21 GAA, .954 SV% & 2 shutouts having faced 130 SOG.

Goalie #2: 3.19 GAA, .907 SV% & 1 shutout having faced 183 SOG.

Which one is Henrik Lundqvist and which one is Simeon Varlamov?

Sharks vs. Ducks

Goalie #1: 1.77 GAA, .953 SV% & 2 shutouts having faced 193 SOG.

Goalie #2: 2.57 GAA, .894 SV% & 0 shutouts having faced 123 SOG.

Which one is Evgeni Nabokov and which one is Jonas Hiller?

What…Me Worry?

Someone asked me over the weekend if I was concerned that the Thrashers haven’t yet inked Marty Reasoner to a new contract. My answer…”Nah”!

See, the way I figure it… Marty has said he wants to return, his teammates have made it clear how they feel about him given they selected him the winner of the Player’s Player Award and Don Waddell has also indicated he wants him re-signed. Plus, as Chris Vivlamore has reported, Waddell and Reasoner’s agent are in the midst of travels but plan on getting together soon about it.

Everyone wants the deal done and there is until July to do so. Easy enough…right?

Right!

Now, if we’re still talking about this come mid-June…then I’ll be worried.

74 comments Add your comment

Wings fan in Ga.

April 27th, 2009
1:56 pm

Playoff hockey is the best time of year.

Russian

April 27th, 2009
2:09 pm

All games in PO are Unbelivable. I was sure for 95% that Boston won series with Montreal and Detroit swipt Columbus. Vancouver was suprised me. I put my vote for Ovi and Carolina to win a series. I think Sharks will beat Ducks. I have no idea about Chikago and Flames. I want to see Chicago move up to second round. If we come back to our team (Thrashers) and look at them on PO 2008/2009, We will bne swipt again. Tharashers is not ready to play PO games. We need to complete our team. I hope it is happend this summer.

Rawhide

April 27th, 2009
2:18 pm

Wings fan – So…if the Sharks pull out their series with Anaheim, the Wings would get Vancouver, (who like the Wings are getting a good week off). If the Ducks prevail, you would draw them.

Any preference there?

RussianWe need to complete our team. I hope it is happend this summer

I agree, but that’s up to D-Dub…isn’t it? Truth be told…given how this team faired from mid-January to the end of the season, we might just be a solid blue-liner and/or winger away.

Dear Lord…did I just say that?

kracker

April 27th, 2009
2:20 pm

Ward and Brodeur have amazingly similar stats. For the other two series, the younger keepers are rather handily outperforming their established counterparts. Well, it happens every year in some series, doesn’t it?

Wings fan in Ga.

April 27th, 2009
2:43 pm

To me, I don’t have a preference. It would be nice to have Vancouver because like you said, each team has had a week off. But when you get to the postseason and as rounds get later and later, teams get tougher and tougher, but it’s why I love it. Teams earn everything they get.

… I don’t really follow contract status’ for teams outside of Motown, but is Kozlov signed with the Thrashers for next year?

Jameson

April 27th, 2009
2:44 pm

Rawhide- I tend to agree with your assessment of the Thrashers. We’ll still need some depth though, so I hope a couple of our lesser talented players like it in the press box.

Rawhide

April 27th, 2009
2:47 pm

Wings Fan – Yup…Kozlov is signed through the end of next season.

Tony C.

April 27th, 2009
4:23 pm

Kozlov will retire here, Kovalchuk & he are tight-last time SlavaMatic was up for a new contract, kovalchuk said something to the effect of “He is a great player and has such good experience-he wants to stay, I would hope they re-sign him.” about a month later, DW announced a new deal for #13.

So, that bodes well for the motivation to add the pieces we so clearly need-only problem is, pickings are kind of slim on UFA forwards. DW has mentioned that teams are probably going to start running into cap-space issues this summer and “there may be moves to be made”…sounds like he’s already lined up some targets.

I’d really like to see us get bigger up front. big question is: how ready (or not) is Macachek??? Also, how likely will our draft pick be able to make the jump straight from juniors???

Also, which team that’s already closed it’s series out early do yall think will have the biggest problem “dialing it back up”???

Bob

April 27th, 2009
4:36 pm

Chicago-Flames should be a great Game 6 tonight. I like the Ducks to close out the Sharks.

I think the Canuckleheads have the hardest time dialing it back up.

Thrashers need a center and a RW, anyone have a good list of impending UFAs to target?

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 27th, 2009
5:16 pm

Alan

April 27th, 2009
6:07 pm

All I can say is this: ouch.

Tom

April 27th, 2009
6:25 pm

Alan

The AJC losing 20 percent of it’s subscribers makes me thankful that we have a beat writer. I was not expecting to ever see one again to be honest. Our loyalty to these pages must be paying a salary. :)

Viking

April 27th, 2009
6:49 pm

Tobias Enström got injured in Sweden’s match against Latvia. He got hit hard against the boards. He left bleeding. A newspaper is saying he checked out OK for concussion. But we will probably enjoy a somewhat “hockey weathered smile” when he comes back for next season. He is currently at the dentist.

Swedish article about two injured defencemen with picture of him on the ice: http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/hockeybladet/article5008832.ab

Nikita

April 27th, 2009
7:03 pm

Greetings from Athens, ya’ll.

re: Machacek…the kid’s got mad skills. Unfortunately his brief outing showed he was a little slow for the NHL game. But so was Bogo when he arrived.

Alan

April 27th, 2009
7:05 pm

I appreciate the link, Viking; alas, I know far more Norsk than I do Svenska (and even then, that’s not a lot). Would you mind terribly giving a translation of the article?

Viking

April 27th, 2009
8:28 pm

I will skip the to Toby injury unrelated stuff, losely translated;

Tobbe (his Swedish nickname)is under the circumstances feeling OK.

The game ended for Tobias Enström at 11.04 in the third period. Enström was tackled hard by the Latvian forward Martin Karsums, only about a meter from the boards and remained laying on the ice. After a few minutes he was able to leave the ice “by his own engine”.

Questions to the doctor;
Injury status on Enström?

Tobbe ended up in a situation by the boards where he came down low and got a hit on his jaw. He is at the dentist now, but is feeling under the circumstances OK. But we do not know what the teeth and upper jaw looks like. I do not even know if he lost teeth.

Concussion?

Not as I saw it. He was fully responsive early and he passed the tests we did with honors. He can speak and joined us for the rest of the game. It was not as spectacular as it seemed.

Can he play against the US on Wednesday?

We are taking one day at the time, but it not completely impossible.

Brendan

April 27th, 2009
11:46 pm

Chicago 3, Calgary 1, with 10:00 left in regulation. Bertuzzi scored in the 1st minute of the 3rd, for the Flames. The game is on Versus. Center Ice, Comcast #771, is carrying the Ducks-Sharks game. San Jose 1, Anaheim 1.

Brendan

April 27th, 2009
11:53 pm

Ranallo, I’ll take Sakic and Koivu off that list of centers. I’m not sure if Sakic is retiring, or what?

Rawhide

April 27th, 2009
11:59 pm

Brendan – So, you flippin’ back and forth between Vs on channel 044 and NHLCI #771…or do you have the P in P going like I do? :lol:

Wings fan in Ga.

April 28th, 2009
12:11 am

Good to know Kozlov isn’t going anywhere.

Alan

April 28th, 2009
12:21 am

Thanks for that, Viking, and it’s much appreciated! I’m happy to hear he’s doing okay, and the doctor doesn’t think it’s a concussion. Hopefully, his smile wasn’t altered too badly in the mishap, either.

R. Stroz

April 28th, 2009
12:49 am

Playoff Predictions:

The Blackhawks take the Flames in six games.

and

The Ducks follow suit and take the Sharks in six games as well.

Damn I’m good at these payoff predictions.

BTW, if the Ducks take the series, doesn’t that move our 2nd round pick from Monteal back further?

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
12:49 am

I have picture in picture, but I can’t watch it like that. So, I was flipping. Can we have a moment of silence for the Calgary Flames? I am truly surprised they were elimianted, AT HOME, so convincingly by Chicago. Calgary had chances to win their division. They didn’t. And they didn’t get home ice at #4, either. They didn’t lie down and die in the playoffs. But losing 5-1 and 4-1 in the final two games does really translate into 9-2, in terms of GF and GA, at the moment critical moment of the series. So, “adios” Mike Keenan? Shrugs. He got them into the playoffs for two straight years. But he didn’t advance the team into the 2nd round. And GM Darryl Sutter? Calgary hasn’t won a playoff series since reaching the Finals in 2004. Time for change?? We’ll see, I guess.

Anaheim leads, 3-1, with 12:00 left in regulation. I can’t believe we could really be seeing the end of the San Jose Sharks season. This was a roster good enough to win the President’s Trophy and was a popular choice to win the Cup. I don’t know what to say. I thought Thornton and Marleau might be getting their rings this year. There’s still time. But it’s slipping away now.

IF Anaheim holds on, they’ll face Detroit next. The Ducks have won their last two playoff series with Detroit. The Ducks 4-0 sweep of Detroit, in 2003, was one of the most shocking upsets of recent memory. The Ducks weren’t nearly the fluke everyone thought, when they went all the way to the Cup finals, losing in the 7th game, to NJ. In 2007, Anaheim defeated Detroit, 4-2, in the CF. The Ducks went on to win the Cup. Also, if the Anaheim lead holds, Chicago would travel to Vancouver, in a matchup of Khabibulin vs. Luongo. In preseason, I selected my Wstern Conference “adopted teams” for 2009: They were Columbus and Chicago. I don’t know that I’ll take Chicago to win that series, but I’m sure tempted.

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
12:50 am

R.Stroz: “D’oh!!!”

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
1:13 am

Anaheim has potentially ended the careers of Rob Blake and Jeremy Roenick tonight at Honda Center. Anaheim will advance and play Detroit. So, that locks in Chicago (4) at Vancouver (3) for the CSF.

Weren’t the Ducks “sellers” at the trade deadline? I couldn’t have imagined this. My pick to win the Cup didn’t make it out of the 1st round. And my Capitals pick is in jeopardy, too. Hey, this is not the NBA. Upsets happen all the time in hockey. Todd McLellan looks angry. Well, not happy. Let’s put it that way.

Okay, raise your hand. Who picked Anaheim? Good job.

R. Stroz

April 28th, 2009
1:19 am

Brendan – I did. And before you comment on the timeliness of my predictions, I would like for you know I actually predicted the outcome of the Ducks v. Sharks series before time expired, so I have two words for you: INCREMENTAL PROGRESS.

I could be a GM.

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
1:36 am

Duly noted, R.Stroz. And you could be a GM. Of course, I say that a lot. I look at guys like Mike Milbury, Doug MacLean, sometimes even a little bit closer to home, and realize … if THEYYYYYY could do it, why couldn’t you? It’s not as if your results would be any WORSE. So, I’ll alert Levenson, via email, that a new GM candidate is out there. Now, one thing is critical to the interview process, R.Stroz. You have to willing to fall down on the sword for the next two seasons, while the team spends at the floor of the cap, reloading via the lottery draft and waiver claims. If you’re still interested … I’ll help you tweak that resume, Al Gore-style!! I’ll claim you invented the power play. Or reinvented it. Or something.

World be Free

April 28th, 2009
7:51 am

It is funny to see how many people are Red Wings fans these days. If you are such great hockey fans, why do you only show up for one Thrashers’ game each year?

I wonder if you were all Wings fans when Walt McKenknie was Detriot’s first line center. Do you even realize that Detroit stunk for 20 years!

Viking

April 28th, 2009
8:52 am

Toby’s World Championship is over. His injury is worse than what was initially thought. He has a serious facial fracture and a concussion.
The newspaper article is in Swedish, but has pictures and a video:
http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/hockeybladet/internationellt/hockeyvm2009/article5009343.ab

I do not have time to translate it now, but the news should reach us here in the US anyway. Toby is going to have surgery by a Finnish doctor who can speak Swedish. The article is only concerned with the fracture, so hopefully the concussion is minor.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 28th, 2009
9:17 am

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 28th, 2009
9:17 am

Oh, I meant to say earlier that usually when someone says “we cannot even see his teeth” the means it’s a broken jaw. Gross.

Glovesave29

April 28th, 2009
9:19 am

Ugh…miserable performance by the Flames. No more rooting interests for me, just watching for the love of the game.

Anyone interested in catching tonight’s game 7’s over at TJ’s?

Brendan…got a chance to see Varlamov and Hiller for extended periods. What I noticed first and foremost is their sense of balance. Both goalies were fantastic post to post, and this can be attributed to something our mothers beat into us…POSTURE. When a goalie is positioned properly in his crouch, his rear end is low and his shoulders should be above his thighs, more upright. When a goalie is too far forward, with his rear high and shoulders over his knees, you get the major complaint I have about Pavalec…too often on his stomach. Notice how Varlamov and Hiller stay back, get a wonderful push, close the 5 hole and move to the other side in a controlled slide on his pads (or kickers, as we used to call ‘em). Best way to tell is to see how much of their logo is showing…you see it all clearly, he is in better position, just the top of it, he’s too far forward, which is a habit you can fall into when you are both tired and not mentally focused. It feels more comfortable in the low crouch, but it is not as effective for stopping the puck. Hope that was what you were looking for…

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 28th, 2009
9:24 am

“Enström has a fracture of the upper käkbenet [jaw?], just below the nose. He will undergo surgery and is fixed on Tuesday.”

“It is a Finnish consultant, who speaks English, which examines Tobias and will operate him when he has time [Tuesday].”

Wings fan in Ga.

April 28th, 2009
11:00 am

World be Free, I went to 10 Thrashers games this year, not just one. And I am also a Lions and Tigers fan, not just Red Wings. Good try, thanks for playing.

Viking

April 28th, 2009
11:07 am

**Ranallo10** I wonder what the surgeon would think if he found out that you called him a consultant! He is not only a doctor, he is an “överläkare” – Senior Physician or whatever they call the main doctor in English. And apparently multi lingual.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 28th, 2009
11:28 am

Viking — I would immediately blame Google Translate, in English, for the inaccurate translation.

Smoothie

April 28th, 2009
12:29 pm

Goodness gracious I feel so bad for Tobes. Such a gruesome injury and I cannot bring myself to watch the video. The pictures were enough visual for me. Reminds me of the hit by Lemieux on Draper from the classic Avs vs. Wings series of the late 90’s. I sincerely hope the concussion is minor and that he did not lose too many chiclets.

I imagine his Thrasher teammates at the World’s have taken notice of this bush league hit by Lightning goon Martin Karsums. Let’s hope that there will be a heavy dose of payback served cold to Mr. Karsums come October when we play TB the first time. Either Eric, Zach or even Kovy needs to teach this miserable SOB a serious lesson.

World be Free

April 28th, 2009
12:30 pm

Wings Fan-we need to get more of your friends to attend Thrashers games. Sorry about being a Lions fan.

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
12:33 pm

Glovesave, most excellent. Yes, that’s precisely what I was looking for. Where would you say Hiller and Varlamov’s weaknesses are?

As a general rule, if you get bodies in front of them, they can’t stop what they don’t see. And if the puck hits them, there’ll be the possibility of a garbage goal rebound. If I’ve notice any flaw in Varlamov, it’s that he seems to have a bit of trouble following the puck BEHIND the net. But he’s looked great in these playoffs. It was a shame the Caps let the Rangers get that late goal, to make it 5-3.

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
12:34 pm

Thank goodness Toby Enstrom re-signed PROACTIVELY last Summer, instead of waiting for Don to get him one THISSSS summer.

Alan

April 28th, 2009
12:59 pm

It is funny to see how many people are Red Wings fans these days. If you are such great hockey fans, why do you only show up for one Thrashers’ game each year?

I’ve been a Wings fan since I was a young boy, and have practically followed Detroit sports my entire life. I’ve never come to Philips just to see the Wings, and I’ve never even worn Wings merch during a game at Philips. I was at so many games last season, I actually lost count.

I love my hometown team, and I love my home team. In regards to the Wings, I’ve never been a mere bandwagoner. Honestly, I look down on those folks. You know the type. The ones who couldn’t name six players who currently play for the team, much less six players who once played for the team. The people who cheer, but don’t seem to know much about why they cheer. These hacks typically lack class when it comes to sitting in a opponent’s arena.

After writing all that above, it occurred to me that your ire very well may be directed at bandwagon fans, just like my ire. Lumping all Wings fans into the same group doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. A lot of us were paying attention long before the Wings ended their Stanley Cup drought.

Some of us are even proud to be from Detroit — pre- or post-apocalypse — and as such, we support each and every one of our teams. This, however, does not exclude me from supporting teams here. And regardless of where I go, I will continue to support Detroit and Atlanta sports teams.

Even if I don’t like those sports.

Re: Enström: That is quite unfortunate, and I hope his recovery is swift. Hope the concussion isn’t too terribly bad.

Sara

April 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

So….wonder how fast Wilson’s going to dismantle the SJ roster? :)

Bob

April 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Any club that has to go up against Pronger and Niedermeyer all night is going to struggle to score, the Wings included. San Jose, if they’re smart, will keep the lineup intact and go at it again next year.

I’d like to see us sign Cammelleri next summer at C, or LaRose, I like his game.

Alan

April 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

Sara, I actually wonder if Wilson will be employed for much longer, given his playoff record:

2004: Lost in Conference finals
2006: Lost in round two
2007: Lost in round two
2008: Lost in round two
2009: Lost in round one

This, folks, is moving in the wrong direction.

It doesn’t matter how good a team you put together in relation to regular season success if you can’t ramp up the intensity in the playoffs. And unfortunately, the Sharks have collapsed in the playoffs. More than once.

Brendan

April 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

Sara, I would hope Doug Wilson does NOT dismantle the roster. They just need to try again. I’m sure they’d have preferred to face St. Louis or Columbus in the 1st round. Instead, they got a team that won the Cup in 2007, with many of its key components (Niedermayer, Pronger, Selanne, Getzlaf) still intact. When St. Louis gained the 6th spot, on the final day of the regular season, this was something of concern for San Jose.

I know, there’s got to be tremendous disappointment in San Jose, right about now. At first, there’s just shock. But now, it’s sinking in. It’s the kind of disappointment that makes fans of that team potentially say things they don’t really mean about their team. But after they’ve had a week or so to cool off and start to deal with it, they’ll see they still have the makings of a formidable team. It’s not EASY to win the President’s Trophy. And it’s even HARDER to win the Cup in that same year.

They’ll reassess what went wrong in the offseason and tweak the roster a bit either at the draft or in free agency. Hopefully, the Sharks won’t do something rash, in the immediate post-elimination hours. The Internet speculation will always be there. It never goes away. If there are Anti-Thornton fans in Boston, they’ll be saying he’s the problem. Couldn’t win in Boston. Now can’t win in San Jose. I don’t know what to say. People think and believe a lot of things. Doesn’t make them true. I can’t explain San Jose’s failure this year, other than to say, Anaheim wasn’t a slouch. They got excellent goaltending and have future Hall of Fame defensemen, and skilled forwards. They’ll take away some lessons from this. But if Sharks should happen to be .500 or below at Christmas next year, changes will be made. That would certainly reflect, “not moving in the right direction,” coming off a 117-point season.

Rawhide

April 28th, 2009
3:30 pm

Alan – Wow! Five straight years being outsed in the playoffs…the last four in the first round. How does any GM keep his job after such failure?

Alan

April 28th, 2009
3:49 pm

Rawhide, I appreciate your sarcasm, but put yourself in the position of a Sharks fan, and you might see what I’m getting at. Especially this year, when the team won the Presidents’ Trophy, yet still choked.

Something has to change in San Jose, and they tried changing the coach. They did exceptional under a rookie coach during the regular season, but still pissed away the playoffs. What other heads are on the guillotine, I wonder?

Ron Wilson.

Make sense?

Rawhide

April 28th, 2009
3:52 pm

Alan- RON Wilson being fired as head coach in Toronto because the Sharks tanked in the playoffs? No…doesn’t make sense to me.

DOUG Wilson being given the ax in San Jose as GM…maybe. :razz:

But…if Doug Wilson is shown the door out there, I would put forward an open letter to the AS, LLC to move Waddell up to the Exec. VP office full time and bring in Doug Wilson to be GM here.

In a friggin’ heartbeat I would….

Bob

April 28th, 2009
4:40 pm

“I actually wonder if Wilson will be employed for much longer, given his playoff record”

Au contraire. A GM has to build a club that can get to the playoffs, it’s the coachs job once they get there.

However, this year, they just ran into the wrong club, Pronger and Niedermeyer can just take games over, and they did.

Alan

April 28th, 2009
4:44 pm

My mind is in three different places today, and I’m in the midst of configuring (or, rather, re-configuring) 52 laptops (thanks to HP for screwing up our order! Argh!). So “Ron Wilson” was a typo. It’s also the name of one of our customers (unrelated).

Also, 1+1=3, and I fart rainbows. :P